The Media:A Weapon Of Mass Instruction?

On yesterday's post, i talked about the decision taken by the governments of Botswana this week to lift its self imposed ban on the hunting of wild animals including elephants,a move which has been causing a ruckus amongst the international conservation enthusiasts community. Spurred on by purposely misinformed and sensationalistic headlines and commentary from major and "respectable" international news outlets,the mob embarked on a smear and scrutiny of the country of Botswana,with some of them calling for the culling of the people of Botswana and not the elephants.

As i mentioned on this post,misinformation on social media is rife because there is no curation of the supposed "facts" spewed by certain individuals but when some of the misleading and propagandist information is circulated by supposedly respectable outlets,it puts into question the respectability and integrity of these news outlets.

Although the reason for the lifting of the ban was clearly stated in the press release put out by the government ,international news outlets ran with damning headlines which exaggerated and misrepresented the reasons stated. National Geographic,Al Jazeera,CNN and a host of others all ran with misinformed headlines and commentary about the ban.

The propagandist narrative ran with by these news outlets aimed to appeal to the emotional and sentimental side of their millions of followers and not their reasoning so as to get them to agree with their tale. They purposely left out or brushed over some important aspects of the issue including how much of a destructive impact the dispersion of elephants is having on the lives and livelihoods of local communities.

Like with every propaganda campaign,the news outlets aimed to show the correctness of only one side of the story and turn a blind eye to unfavorable facts knowing that the masses that follow them will always adopt sentiment over reasoning.

The media are supposed to be impartial in their reporting. Their duty is to convey facts to the public and let them make up their mind about which standing they want to take. When they instead choose to pick a side for reasons known to them and impose it on their naive and impressionable audience,they lose their integrity and respectability.

They should not allow themselves to be influenced to pick a more popular narrative so as to appeal to their followers and increase their ratings. If that is the case,they can  then become a weapon to people of influence to spread their propaganda at the expense of the general public.